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Warriors, Come out to Play-ay: UCLA & Florida Re-take the Dance Floor
Let's first get some stuff out of the way. You know what I'm talking about -- that last year stuff. UCLA lost to Florida in the final round of the NCAA tournament last year by 16 points, outplayed up and down the court. But if you've been watching closely, if you even have a sense of what's going on, you know that a different Bruin team will be marching into the Georgia Dome tomorrow afternoon. A team that has the experience, has been tested, and knows what it will take to win in the finals against Florida. But knowing is only half the battle, right? Execution is what's in question.
Defensively, UCLA is still solid thanks to coach Ben Howland's aggressive man defense strategy. Offensively, they are missing Farmar as a starter this year but they have gained Collison as one, which is at least as good or better depending who you ask. The same large defensive bodies remain: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Alfred Aboya and Lorenzo Mata. In particular Mata has become even more of an asset during this year's tournament as he has established a more impressive inside game -- I guess somebody finally told him he's tall.
If UCLA falls into a tight offensive rhythm out of the gate, they can hopefully hold Florida from ratcheting up the tempo of the game. That's it. You wanted me to add all that generic shit that everyone says? Sure: UCLA should also mind the ball to prevent turnovers, since Florida's full-court press will quickly pick up their mistakes and punish them. Watch out for Florida's inside game, Noah's dribbling, blah blah blah...
We're calling it for UCLA -- by a lot. Like 10 points.
UCLA vs Florida: Saturday @ 5:47pm PST on CBS. AP Photos.